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U.S. Accreditation and Federal and State Law
and Regulation

Links to Databases, Directories and Documents on Higher Education Accreditation and Federal and State Law and Regulation Governing Accreditation in the United States.

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) Database of Institutions and Programs Accredited by Recognized U.S. Accrediting Organizations: The most comprehensive information resource on accredited higher education institutions and programs, listing more than 7,800 degree-granting and non-degree-granting institutions and more than 20,000 programs.

Directory of CHEA-Recognized Accrediting Organizations (2015-2016): An online directory of the institutional and programmatic accrediting organizations recognized by CHEA in 2015-2016.

Recognized Accrediting Organizations (September 2015): A chart listing regional, national faith-related, national career-related and programmatic accrediting organizations that are or have been recognized by CHEA, the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) or both.

The Condition of Accreditation: U.S. Accreditation in 2013: Information and statistics provided by accrediting organizations during the 2012-2013 academic year.

An Overview of U.S. Accreditation (2015): Information on higher education accreditation and how it operates in the United States.

Accreditation and Recognition in the United States (2012): A primer on how accreditation works in the United States and the process of recognizing accrediting organizations.

State Uses of Accreditation: Results of a Fifty-State Inventory (2010): A review examining the connection between states and accreditation and accreditation’s role as states authorize institutions to operate, including an appendix containing information on each state.

Federalizing Accreditation: A Quandary for Higher Education (2011): CHEA President Judith Eaton writes in Inside Accreditation that the federal government – primarily driven by the quest for greater accountability – has focused on “federalizing accreditation,” increasing the requirements that accrediting organizations must meet to be recognized by USDE.

Who Watches the Watchman? Thoughts on the Federal Relationship to Accreditation in Higher Education (2009): A CHEA Initiative White Paper by Matthew Finkin, the Albert J. Harno and Edward W. Cleary Chair in Law, University of Illinois College of Law, on the relationship of the federal government and USDE to private accreditation.

CHEA Videos (2011): Links to short, consumer-friendly videos on Accreditation and Its Value to You, Types of Accreditation: What’s the Difference?, Degree Mills and Accreditation Mills and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation

U.S. Law and Regulation on Accreditation

While U.S. law and regulation on accreditation most directly address accrediting organizations, they have an impact on accredited higher education institutions and programs and on the requirements of accrediting organizations.

The National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) Website: The committee that advises the U.S. Secretary of Education on issues related to the recognition of accrediting organizations.

National Recognition of Accrediting Agencies by the U.S. Secretary of Education: Information on the USDE Website about the recognition of accrediting organizations by USDE.

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA), Title IV, Part H: The laws governing recognition of accrediting organizations, contained in Title IV, Part H (Program Integrity).

Accreditation in the United States: The Criteria for Recognition – Basic Eligibility Requirements, The Recognition Process and Department Responsibilities: USDE regulations implementing the HEOA.

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Last Modified: 5/24/2016

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